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Tricky conditions for Early Bird competition on Loch Watten

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Alex Donald secured the Grouse Trophy as winner, and also had the best fish.
Alex Donald secured the Grouse Trophy as winner, and also had the best fish.

Loch Watten was the setting for Dounreay Fly Fishing Association’s Early Bird competition on Saturday. After a promising start, with calm winds and overcast skies, the weather worsened for the 10 dedicated anglers who participated.

By mid-morning a north-west wind had picked up, forcing some competitors to deploy drogues to control their boat drifts. Adding to the challenge, the anglers faced cold, drizzling rain that persisted throughout the competition, dampening both the participants and their spirits.

With only five boats on the water, the anglers set off at 6am, determined to make the best of the tricky conditions. By the time lines were drawn in at 11am, the results were less than stellar. Only two anglers managed to catch any fish, underscoring the difficulty of the day.

Alex Donald emerged as the winner, showing his expertise by landing three trout with a total weight of 5 lb 7 oz. His exceptional performance earned him 10 points and the Grouse Trophy.

Additionally, he secured a bonus point for catching the largest fish of the day, a 2lb 4oz beauty. Donald’s successful strategy involved using a DI5 sweep line with Loch Ordie and white and olive Cormorant flies, and his catches came from Laid Bay and the Lynegar area.

Toby Bracey secured second place with a single trout weighing 1 lb 0.5 oz, earning him eight Boat League points. Bracey’s catch was made further out in the loch across the Oldhall berth, using a DI8 line with a Norski Lad fly.

Boat League standings (top six): 1 Alex Donald, 58 points; 2eq James Simpson, Robbie Hawken, 33; 4 Aivis Kreslins, 32; 5 Billy Thomson, 31; 6 Toby Bracey, 28.

The next event on the DFFA calendar is the inter-club contest with Shetland Anglers Association, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 12-13.

After that, DFFA’s last Boat League event of the season for the KML Trophy will take place on the evening of Wednesday, July 24.

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